From the article: The Difference Between English and Western Riding Styles
Do you ride English or western? Do you prefer English or western style riding and why? What made you choose the way you ride? (And don't say one is easier than the other, because that is not true! It's hard work to become proficient in any riding style.) What influenced you to try one over the other. Or do you ride both English and western. What would you advise a beginner who is trying to choose whether to ride English or western. Share Your Advice
- I don't know I have done about 4 lessons on english and I don't really like it and I have rode western but I am not sure if I should start doing western?
- —Guest Guest Veronica
- Bare back in a rope hackamore on my Chestnut Quater Horse he looks so uncomfortable but when you get on its amazing his trot is you just sit. I like English a lot that's what I ride when I show and take lessons. I love it cause you can jump and just do like everything it is awesome but if you have a comfortable horse that likes to graze go bareback.
- —Guest Ms.HORSElover
- I started out western when I was six but also had lesson bare back for the balance. But I now have ridden English jumped and done some dressage as well. The only difference I can really see is if you are a hand on or off type person. English is very hands on contact with the horse is all the time while western contact is only given for cues to change what your doing. I personally love it all!!! They both are hard in their own way the only thing I've had trouble with in switching to English from western is having my legs more bent. That's the hardest thing to get used to, but it's all about what type of person you are and what you want to do for ridding.
- —Guest Morgan
I don't care as long as I'm riding
- I love to ride. Don't care what just love to feel the wind in my face.to be honest they are both equally as hard I would start with western then go into English when your more advanced that's what I did.
- —Guest Horselover
- Ride polocrosse it's so much fun and do it in any saddle!!! It's such a fast moving rush sport I love it and the people are great
- —Guest Polocrosse
both are great
- I started w/ my mini, bareback, then took riding lessons English, and a couple trail rides Western. Then when I got my own horse, I rode her all Western, but just about 2 years ago started her w/ English. I ride trails Western all the time, but still take occassional English lessons. I also teach two girls in the summer: started them out w/ English, then switched to Western to give them more confidence at faster gaits. Some of my friends are totally "anti-english", which i don't agree with. I think English is harder to learn, but when you have it, you have it and can ride any discipline. Western is more "fast and wild". My opinion is-if its on a horse, it's good enough for me!!!! I love horses no matter what kind of saddle they have on. I ride Western (my horse won 3 blues in barrel racing). I ride English (my horse jumps and I take jumping lessons occasionally). I ride bareback-ALL the time!! I'm a EQUESTERIAN. not a Western or English rider, but a HORSE rider!!! :)
- —Guest Andrea
Good riding is good riding
- Both English and Western styles require the rider to remain balanced over the horse's back, using core strength and an independent seat. These aides are then used to encourage the horse to "collect" by raising their back and engaging their hind end muscles. English styles ride with contact on the bit; western style is to engage the bit only when required. One is not better than the other, but is a matter of personal preference. I would recommend beginners start with either Western or Dressage. Both of these saddles have deeper seats and can help beginners as they learn how to properly sit and use their aides effectively. But Good Riding Is Good Riding - period. We can all learn from each other.
- —Guest Karen
- I began riding western then switched to english (later doing dressage) I think that there's really no right or wrong way to start. Starting out in a western saddle, however, gave me a feeling of more independence and security than it did when I first rode english and taught me to feel the horse no matter what type of saddle I ride in! I say combine these two disciplines so you can further your knowledge and be able to excel no matter what you ride in! I ride bareback all the time because switching things up and doing different disciplines gave me a whole new feel for my balance, posture and horsemanship! On the switching from Western to english side of things I really didn't have any trouble at all. Really the only fault I could see is my lower leg posture occasionally fails me but hey -- everyone makes mistakes occasionally! I think the 'toughness' of switching just depends on the rider and how often you focus and work on it!
- —Guest guest42
- I honesty find it halarious that you people think that western riding is basically barrels and " chasing cows ". I am here to say that it is defiantly not. I compete in reined cow horse and reining and let me reel you something, it takes far more skill AND balance to do that over any English dicipline. I know people that have competed in very high level dressage and show jumping, switched to western, and been completely lost because they couldn't get out of the horses mouth and they didn't know how to use their legs at all. I have I high respect for English, and I think that it is VERY pretty, but I KNOW that it is not any harder or better than western. I know that there are bad uneducated riders in both diciplines. I don't want to upset anyone, but people with their heads in the clouds thinking that English is so much better is wrong.
- —Guest Guest
whatever you want
- I have been in 4h for 3 years and have ridin western everytime. It was fun too! People who say they don't like english because it's more xompetitive are wrong though. Western is just as competitive. This decision depends on you AND your horse really. I just got a new horse recently and am riding both english and western on her. I am doing showjumping, hunter, showmenship, halter, and competitive trail on her. If your horse has a long step or stride and is fast or doesnt like to be held back so much I would recomend english for showing. But if your horse is calm and slower then you would probably do best in western. You can alternate between the 2 styles to mix things up a bit once you get started. I would definitly recommend learning english before western. English takes more strength andbalence then western does. I found itvery difficult to switch from western to english. But if you are confident and satisfied with your english riding switching to western should be a breeze! GOOD LUCK
- —Guest jackson5
- Well, I've ridden bareback once, english once, and western all the other times. I personally feel most secure in the western saddle. i love bareback, the feeling of oneness (is that a word?? LOL!) I think that english is the perfect compromise between the two. I also like the options for showing in english more than in western. But honestly- it is up to the rider. ask yourself- do you like to feel secure, or do you want to feel like you're taking risks. if you anwered secure- you probably would love western. If you answered risky- then bareback or western would probably suit you perfectly. i think that everyone should learn with western to develop self confidence and then decide from there.
- —Guest brenda
- no matter what type of horse activity is your ultimate goal - learn English first. You will develop better balance and learn to use your aids(legs, hands, seat,etc,) better. You will be equipped to ride either style - where as many who ride only Western seem lostwith a lot of so-called protection.
- —Guest marydc
- I believe western requires more strength becuase you have 1 hand, so it is half the balance... I love western and put 110% into riding everyday. Plus Western horses have a better chance at winnning more things becuase you do EVERYTHING in western. You have on the groud excerizes, w/t/l, barrels, posts. Pretty much everything but jumping.
- —Guest SassyRider
- Tell them that it is their choice ask them what saddle they feel more comfortable in or what they want to do in contests and shows. They might even want to do both let them have a choice you could even mention stock riding.
- —Guest Claire
- I learned to ride western found it was hard as a beginner to learn to post want to. jump so I'm becoming open mined to English riding have to learn but I. riding a English horse western and its quit a bumping ride wen me and friends gallop in the pasture
- —Guest guest
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